Artificial Joint Replacement of the Thumb Hazelwood MO
Saint Louis, MO
Washington University Orthopedics
Medical School: Univ Of Mo, Columbia Sch Of Med, Columbia Mo 65212
Graduation Year: 1993
Medical School: Baylor Coll Of Med, Houston Tx 77030
Graduation Year: 1995
Medical School: Albany Med Coll, Albany Ny 12208
Graduation Year: 1979
Medical School: Washington Univ Sch Of Med, St Louis Mo 63110
Graduation Year: 1986
Hospital: Depaul Health Center, Bridgeton, Mo; Christian Hosp Northeast, Saint Louis, Mo
Group Practice: Northland Orthopedic Group
Artificial Joint Replacement of the Thumb
A Patient's Guide to Artificial Joint Replacement of the Thumb
If nonsurgical treatments are not successful in easing problems of thumb arthritis, your doctor may recommend replacing the surfaces of the joint. Joint replacement surgery is called arthroplasty.
This guide will help you understand
Which parts of the thumb are involved?
The CMC joint (an abbreviation for carpometacarpal joint) of the thumb is where the metacarpal bone of the thumb attaches to the trapezium bone of the wrist. This joint is sometimes referred to as the basal joint of the thumb. The CMC is the joint that allows you to move your thumb into your palm, a motion called opposition.
Several ligaments (bands of strong tissue) hold the joint together. These ligaments join to form the joint capsule of the CMC joint. The joint capsule is a watertight sac around the joint.
The joint surfaces are covered with a material called articular cartilage. This material is the slick, spongy covering that allows one side of a joint to slide against the other joint surface easily. When this material wears out, the joint develops a type of arthritis called osteoarthritis and becomes painful.
Related Document: A Patient's Guide to Hand Anatomy
What does the surgeon hope to achieve?
Arthritic joint surfaces can be a source of stiffness, pain, and swelling. The artificial joint is used to replace the damaged joint surfaces so patients can do their activities with less pain. Unlike a fusion surgery that simply binds the joint together, arthroplasty can help take away pain while allowing the thumb joint to retain movement.
Related Document: A Patient's Guide to Arthritis of the Thumb
How should I prepare for surgery?
The decision to proceed with surgery must be made jointly by you and your surgeon. You need to understand as much about the procedure as possible. If you have concerns or questions, you should talk to your surgeon.
Once you decide on surgery, you need to take several steps. Your surgeon may suggest a complete physical examination by your regular doctor. This exam helps ensure that you are in the best possible condition to undergo the operation.
A second purpose of the preoperative visit is to prepare you for your surgery. You'll begin learning some of the exercises you'll use during your recovery. And your therapist can help you anticipate any special needs or problems you might have at home, once you are released from the hospital.
On the day of your surgery, you will probably be admitted to the hospital early in the morning. You shouldn't eat or drink anything after midnight the night before.
What happens during surgery?
Before we describe the procedure, let's look first at the artificial thumb joint itse...